Don’t Blame Landlords For Childcare Shortages, Says NRLA

The NRLA has hit back at the government’s call for landlords to be more open-minded when considering allowing tenants to become childminders.

Children and Families Minister, Claire Coutinho, has written to housing associations, developers and landlords, urging them to better support prospective childminders who face restrictive clauses in contracts which stop them from working in rented homes.

She says childminders in leasehold properties are sometimes being blocked by restrictive covenants, which won’t allow them to be used for business purposes. Some of those living in rented accommodation find tenancy agreements prevent them from registering their business or that their landlord’s mortgage agreements include restrictions from the lender.

Insurance options In the letter, Coutinho advises: “You can put measures in place that work for you and your tenant, for example you might discuss insurance options or how your perspective tenant intends to manage pickups and drop offs to reduce disruption to neighbours. To freeholders…please consider working with the local authority planning teams to include exemptions to restrictions on business use for early education and childcare.”

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, says no landlord wants to stand in the way of the provision of childcare, but that government must recognise housing providers are not the issue.

Tenancy deposits “The government’s encouragement to landlords to ‘be open-minded’ is no-doubt well-meaning but fails entirely to acknowledge the very real issues facing the childcare industry or the legitimate concerns of housing providers,” he adds. “Mortgage lenders and insurers need to be more flexible in enabling landlords to allow childminders to operate from the properties they let. Tenancy deposits must also be allowed to reflect the greater risk of damage to properties being used for childminding.”

Beadle adds: “We will continue to work with the government…but refuse to accept the blame for systemic issues in another industry.”

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